"THE SYRIAN CONNECTION"
Syria has occupied Lebanon since 1976, when they initially intervened in the Lebanese civil war. Syria has killed hundreds of Lebanese leaders since the early 1980's and then systematically absorbed Lebanon into itself. Syria, driven by the idea that Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine (also known as Southern Syria), are part of Greater Syria; has worked for almost three decades unhindered, to make Lebanon vanish as an independent state. Where are all the cries of Syrian occupation? Why doesn't the world seem to care about the poor Lebanese? Many Lebanese (at risk of death) have protested against the Syrian occupation. Yet the world is silent. There seems to be a double standard here, between how the world gets all bent out of shape over the 'Palestinians' and yet ignores the plight of the Syrian-occupied Lebanese. Where are all the arguments claiming violations to the 4th Geneva Convention? Syria has moved over 1 million of its citizens into Lebanon, a clear violation. Many came for jobs in the drug fields of the Beka Valley; protected by the Syrian Army, directed by Rifat Asad (Hafez's younger brother); a multi-billion dollar drug operation set-up in Lebanon. And yet all this time, for almost 30 years, Syria has flagrantly violated UN Security Council Resolution 520, and refused to leave Lebanon. But it gets much worse. Syria, harbors and supports international terrorist organizations! Over 10 different groups, work out of Damascus, such as Islamic Jihad or receive support (weapons & aid transfers), like Hizbullah in Lebanon.
(FOJ) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad just shrugs off U.S. pressure to cut ties with Lebanon's
Hizbollah and expel radical Palestinian groups Washington regards as "terrorists." In an interview published in the Al-Liwaa daily on July 1, 2002, he said: "Syria supports the Lebanese national resistance, including Hizbollah...in resisting Israeli occupation and liberating land, politically and in the media because the brothers in the Lebanese resistance do not need military support from Syria." "As for the Palestinian groups...their work is limited to political and media activities, and their offices in Damascus provide political representation to the 400,000 Palestinians living in Syria and who look to attain their rights and return to their land," he was quoted as saying. The remarks were Assad's first public comment on those groups since President Bush demanded in his Middle East policy speech on June 25, 2002 that Syria cut backing for Hizbollah and expel militant Palestinian groups it hosts.
Damascus hosts 10 Palestinian terror groups, including the Islamist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which have carried out a series of suicide attacks on Israelis since the start of the 21-month-old uprising against Israeli occupation. It also defends Hizbollah, which waged a war of attrition that helped end Israel's 22-year occupation of south Lebanon in May 2000, as legitimate national resistance. In a reference to Israeli warnings in recent months that the Jewish state would respond to Hizbollah attacks on its troops in a disputed area by hitting Syrian targets, Assad told Al-Liwaa that Syria would defend itself against any Israeli action. "If the Israeli government involved itself in waging aggression on Syrian territories, naturally Syria would defend itself," the newspaper quoted Assad as saying. Israel holds Damascus responsible for attacks by Hizbollah!
Note: Damascus international airport has become the primary transit hub for al Qaeda operatives traveling back and forth through the Middle East and on to the Balkans. Iran's hardline spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his terror chiefs, who are working day and night to convert the Hizballah-controlled areas of Lebanon into Iran's forward line and second-strike base in case of a US or Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear and weapons of mass destruction industries. Bashar Assad in Damascus and the Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon are keeping a wary eye on the White House. The Syrian President was told his double game was no longer acceptable; he must decide between cracking down on the terrorist organizations in his country, including al Qaeda, or expect American retribution. In the battle of Jenin last April, al Qaeda as well as Hizballah terrorists, were ranged against the IDF on the Palestinian side. Also al Qaeda fighters are able to move between Tehran, Damascus, Beirut and the Palestinian refugee camps of south Lebanon, with logistical and intelligence aid from the Hizballah.
Maps courtesy of JSOURCE used with permission.